One of the biggest misconceptions in the voiceover industry is that you need a talent agent to book work. This is not the case at all. While agency representation is beneficial when it comes to booking relatively large regional and national commercials, there is plenty of work available by marketing directly to VO buyers. Even in animation! Natalie Hitzel, a professional voice actor and good friend of ours, has voiced many video game and animation characters just by hustling and marketing directly to video game and animation companies.
For the past 15 years, 75% of my annual income has come from direct marketing. I'm not the animation star that Natalie is but I have booked hundreds of jobs doing commercials, eLearning narrations and theme park promos. Trish Basanyi, one of the coaches here at UVT Coaching, is a mastermind when it comes to direct marketing and has made an excellent living booking work without a talent agent. She does an award-winning class on direct marketing. For more information, visit one of my other blogs at www.uvtcoaching.com/post/vo-muck-struck-marketing-coaching
This doesn't mean we shouldn't go after representation. It will be pretty tough to book that national Budweiser commercial without agency representation. Agents are always the best negotiators when it comes to rates as well. They work for us and they are wonderful. In my opinion, it's a good idea to get agency representation and do plenty of direct marketing. There are no cons to having multiple revenue streams.
The main point of this blog is that you can build a voiceover career without ever having agency representation. The work is out there. You just have to hustle and make sure you're marketing your professional voiceover demo every week. Schedule times throughout the week to do this.
For some great tips on direct marketing, primarily via email, visit one of my other blogs at www.uvtcoaching.com/post/direct-e-mail-marketing